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multiple lymph nodes

May 11, 2004

Hi, 13 months ago I had surgery to remove enlarged lymph nodes under my arm. I was then told to be tested for HIV. I guess it was suspicious when they biopsied it. I ended up having another surgery 4 months ago under the same arm and the pathologist said the same thing. I got tested after the first surgery and it would have been 14 months at that time since I would have had any type of exposure. Took 2 actually, and they both came out negative. I now have found 2 more lymph nodes in the groin area. I did go this past week again to the clinic and won't get results back till the 13 of May. I still have not had exposure over 2 years now. I did have a TB skin test done at work about the time this all started. I also read that Hiv and TB don't mix. How possible is it that I have HIV? Does Hiv spread? It seems this started under my left arm for a year and then I noticed one on my left groin and 2 days later there was another on my right groin. They ran cultures at my last biopsy, I know that at this point in time everything tested for is negative. (Not sure if they culture for HIV) My lymph nodes are not sore. I don't even know that they are there. I first found the one under my arm doing a breast exam, and now I constantly feel all over to see if I have any more. Now I am scared to death because I am finding more! They are about a centimeter and like I said not sore, but hard and mobile. I feel fine, no night sweats, fevers, etc. If lymph nodes are reacting wouldn't the virus be in your system by that time and the test show positive if you are already having enlarged nodes if you have HIV? Thank you so much for helping me with this issue and everyone else. I've been going nuts with worry.

Response from Dr. Horwath

If you've had several HIV test during this period of time, and the tests were negative, then the swollen lymph nodes are not due to HIV. Now that you have been tested, have confidence in the outcome of the tests. You are HIV negative and these tests are extremely sensitive and accurate.

There are many other causes of swollen lymph nodes and you need to consult your doctors to find out what the results of the biopsies were. The pathology report should give the most specific information on what is going on with your lymph nodes. Make sure you go over the pathology results with your doctors.

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